Posts Tagged ‘advertising’
We are in the middle of developing an ad campaign for a medical products company. Previously, they were running ads they developed themselves.They shared the results of a survey one publisher initiated on the effectiveness of ads that appeared in their magazine. The ads were judged in three categories:
Valid criteria to be sure. But what is needed to make an ad eye-catching, informative and believable? Which is most important, and which is the hardest to achieve?
Let’s start with the first question: How do you create an ad that is eye-catching, informative, or believable?
There are a number of ways to make an ad eye-catching. Use big, bold colors or type. Or lots of white space. Use a shocking or incongruous image for that particular market or trade publication. Say something controversial or even scandalous. And so on.
To be informative, or at least to give the appearance of being informative, requires more hard facts and less marketing “fluff”. It’s even better if you can sprinkle in some charts or tables or present tangible data about your product’s capabilities or superiority.
Being believable implies a level of trust on the reader’s part. But how do you gain someone’s trust within a second or two?
Answering the first question helps us answer the second: Which is most important and hardest to achieve? Obviously it’s important to attract someone’s attention. But if the ad isn’t relevant or believable, the reader is quickly gone. Information can be a powerful weapon. However, presenting a lot of information isn’t always a good idea. First of all, it can make the ad uninviting to read. But more importantly, it may not be possible to encapsulate all your products’ capabilities or benefits in the relatively small amount of space an ad affords. It might be more beneficial to leave the reader hungry and instead, lead them to your website or into a conversation where you have more opportunity to explain your product.
If a product or service is of no use to someone, being believable won’t make any difference. But if after reading what you have to offer, someone is interested, being believable helps to break down barriers, which makes it easier to sell. But what do you do to gain that trust in a matter of a few seconds? Perhaps it’s what you don’t do:
• Don’t use deception or trickery. If you start a relationship with a lie or deception, there is no trust and it’s hard if not impossible to gain it later.
• Don’t presume to know what’s best. “This is the last product you’ll ever need.” “The one solution to meet all your needs.” How can you possibly have the answers to someone’s needs if you haven’t even been introduced yet?
Don’t over promise. Don’t offer a solution that you can’t deliver on. If something even hints at sounding too good to be true, it will immediately set off warning bells. It’s much better to present what your product can deliver under normal use, not perfect conditions.
In truth, real trust is earned over time. But starting off on the right foot makes each it easier to gain it down the road.
In my other life, I’m a volunteer firefighter and an EMT. In Emergency Medical Services, the Golden Hour is the term we use to describe the time we have to get to the scene, stabilize the patient and deliver them to life-saving interventions. The clock starts ticking at the moment of trauma.
In branding and marketing, we have a clock too. It starts the minute an individual takes any action (such clicking a link or dialing a number) and continues until they receive the reward for their action. Let’s call it the Golden Minute. The actual time varies but the point is, once you’ve motivated a prospect to take action, you need to know that their clock is ticking and you have very little time to deliver. Here’s a personal example.
The first thing I do each morning is clean out my emails. I read the ones that are relevant to me, and delete the rest, most without ever opening. This morning, one email managed to get past the Carroll filter. Upon opening the email, I saw links to white papers and articles that were of interest to me. I decided to download one called “10 Ways Social Media Monitoring Enhances Your Brand”. I clicked the link, and the invisible clock started.
tick…………. tick…………. tick…………..
Immediately, a form popped up with all of my personal information pre-populated. My name, email address, address, phone number. Some of the information was old and the fields were editable, so I went ahead and made the changes. I then clicked the CHANGE button.
The form refreshed and now wanted me to provide my email address again. But this time the CHANGE button appeared as a CANCEL button. ???
tick… .tick…. tick….tick….tick…..
Having no other choice, I clicked the CANCEL button, which brought me back to the beginning.
Giving it one more chance, I found some small print at the bottom of the page where it said “Until you click the confirm email address link in the email we sent you, you will not receive any more bulletins from xxxxxx.” So, I went back to the original email and looked for where it said that.
I could not find what they were referring to anywhere.
I closed the email and hit delete. My clock had run out. I had invested as much time as I could and I needed to get on with my day.
Everyone has this internal clock and it moves faster for some than for others. Marketers need to be aware of this when planning promotional programs. Getting the customer’s interest is important. Getting them to respond, and give up their contact information is very important. But unless you deliver what they came for, quickly and simply, you will have wasted the opportunity you worked so hard to create.
I’ve always wondered why it has to be quiet during a tennis or golf match, but not during a baseball, football or basketball game. What if people cheered, whistled and yelled while listening to a symphony play, but sat quietly except to politely applaud at a the end of a wrestling match? We expect certain things to happen without even thinking whether or not they make sense. And if the opposite of what we expect happens, it can be jarring.
When it comes to developing awareness of or leads for a product or service, exploiting conventions can be very effective. Taking a common assumption or occurrence and turning it inside out not only catches our eye, but makes us look at it in a completely different way. And by doing so, we become more engaged — by asking questions and beginning a dialogue. It also burns a memorable imprint in our minds, which can be helpful in future campaigns.
Try it out sometime. But not while you’re at a symphony or a play, or any event that you don’t want to get kicked out of.